Sicario Blu-ray Review

What’s It About? An unflinching journey into the deadly, volatile and morally murky world of Mexican drug cartels.

Verdict: Sicario kicks off with a punch to your gut and then keeps a gun to your head for the next two hours! Emily Blunt absolutely rocks this film. She’s just tremendous as the idealistic FBI agent who finds herself in a moral quandary when she joins an inter-agency task force in the war on drugs. Blunt is definitely one of the best actors of her generation. In fact, each new movie I see her in just confirms to me that there’s pretty much nothing she can’t do.

Likewise, Benicio del Toro puts in one hell of a performance as a mysterious Colombian consultant. He really gives a beautifully understated turn. And he even gets a fantastic Dirty Harry-esque moment. I can definitely see why Lionsgate are already developing a sequel focusing on del Toro’s character, Alejandro.

Josh Brolin is perfect as the slippery special agent running the task force. And Skins star Daniel Kaluuya, who Emily Blunt’s FBI partner, does a fine job too. I really hope to see him in more films and bigger roles going forward.

Sicario’s screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who’s best known as an actor in TV’s Sons Of Anarchy, has produced a tightly written script that builds steadily and kept me gripped for the whole of the movie’s 120-minute run-time. This is Sheridan’s first feature film, and off the back of this I’m very interested to see his next one, Comancheria, which stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster & Jeff Bridges.

Director Denis Villeneuve manages to wring every last drop of tension out of Sheridan’s script. And while the path the story takes is not especially surprising, the depth of the characters and the feeling there’s still much left to uncover by the end makes Sicario absolutely riveting.

As for the look of the film, cinematographer Roger Deakins has done tremendous work, as always. The night-vision scenes in tunnels, and the aerial shots that look like they’ve been taken from the belly of the plane, particularly stand out.

Deakins really is a master Director of Photography. You’ll have seen his work on tons of films including a slew of movies by the Coen Brothers, the last Bond film Skyfall, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, A Beautiful Mind, and a whole lot more. So far, he’s been nominated for 12 Oscars, but hasn’t won a single one, which is absolutely insane! I really hope Sicario changes that.

By the way, Sicario is the second time Deakins has worked with director Villeneuve – the first time was Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. And they’ll be working together again on the Blade Runner sequel, which gives me a lot of hope for that movie.

Props also go to composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for his suitably unsettling score, and to editor Joe Walker who does a top-notch job pacing this wonderfully slow-burning movie and driving us forward relentlessly in search of answers. Of course, given its subject matter, it’s almost impossible for Sicario to escape comparisons with Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, but for me, it actually feels like it has more of a Zero Dark Thirty meets Michael Mann vibe to it.

Extras: Stepping Into Darkness: The Visual Design Of Sicario; Blunt, Brolin & Benicio: Portraying The Characters Of Sicario; A Pulse From The Desert: The Score Of Sicario; Battle Zone: The Origins Of Sicario.

Final Words: Sicario is an extraordinarily tense, hard-hitting thriller that’s positively dripping with dread. Thanks to a sharp script, incredible cast, and outstanding work from the behind-the-scenes crew, Sicario makes compelling viewing.

Rating: 4.5 / 5      

On Blu-ray, DVD & digital platforms from 1st February 2016.